Evernote Smart Notebook Review

Evernote Smart Notebook Review

Sep 25, 2014

Recording inspiration is serious business. For creative people, the ability to jot down an idea or bring a concept to live via sketch is priceless. Even in a digital world, here are times when the hand written note on the fly cannot be surpassed.

For folks who cherish traditional notebooks, Moleskine is a well-known commodity, and its collaboration with mobile/web note-taking utility Evernote spawned the interesting Moleskine Evernote Smart Notebook. The underlying idea is to create a solution that allows for the digital capture of handwritten notes, and access to these notes via Evernote.

The Moleskine Notebook itself is the size of a thin, small book, coming in at 8.25 x 5 inches. The dark leather that makes up the cover features embossing of different types, most notably the Evernote logo in the center. On the back cover is a lime green band; there is also similarly colored strip for bookmarking. On the inside back cover, there is a pocket that contains smart tags and documentation, and the pages (192 of them) are noted to be FSC certified and pH neutral. Altogether, it looks professional, reasonably sturdy and feels quite mobile.


As a soccer coach, I had some great opportunities at a recent soccer tourney. I am used to entering coaching points and on-the-fly stats via smartphone and Evernote, but then you have glare and such to contend with, plus, there is always someone that assumes you’re playing poker during the game. As such, it does feel a bit more natural using a “regular” notebook. Also, as I tend to use each game as an opportunity to isolate things to work on in practice, after games, I tend to have all sorts of diagrams and notations.

It was easy physically replacing my coach’s jotpad with Smart Notebook. The ruled lines help guide entry and even diagrams, and I had no problem using to gather training points and the like. The moment of truth is the image capture, and this is effected with the help of the Evernote app.


Now, I think the Android app could have a better capture utility. The iOS version seems to be a bit more robust with regards to alignments. Smart tags are great in theory, but not really functional in the Android app, and the OCR did seem finicky with non-printed writing. Finally (and this is more a function of the Evernote app), downloading Skitch is needed for further annotations.

All in all, while this item is not new, the question one must ask is whether the Moleskine Smart Notebook makes one more productive.

In my case, it did.